Tata Steel acquires three service centres in Europe

13 February 2015

Tata Steel, Europe's second largest steel producer, has acquired three service centres in Sweden, Finland and Norway to strengthen its offering to manufacturers in the Nordic region. The company reached an agreement with steel producer SSAB to buy its strip products service centres at Halmstad in Sweden and Naantali in Finland.

Tata Steel will also acquire from SSAB the remaining 50% stake it does not already own in Norsk Stal Tynnplater AS, another strip products service  centre based in Fredrikstad, Norway.

The three centres process strip products offering services such as cutting-to-length, slitting and recoiling. They supply steel to manufacturers in the automotive, construction and electrical supplies industries, as well as to heavy and light engineering companies. The European Commission has approved the sale of these service centres to Tata Steel, the latter said in an official statement.

Commenting on the development, Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel in Europe, said: "Tata Steel's European operations have served customers in the Nordic steel markets for many years. These acquisitions will strengthen our strip products offering to manufacturers in this region. There is a sophisticated and demanding customer base in the Nordic region which increasingly requires advanced steel products. Tata Steel is committed to developing these innovative steel products which give our customers a competitive edge."

The three centres employ close to 180 people, with 50 at Norsk Stal Tynnplater, 70 people at Naantali and 60 at Halmstad. SSAB was required to sell them as a condition of its takeover of Rautaruukki. The transactions remain subject to approval from competition authorities in Norway, Sweden and Finland, and their implementation will follow these approvals. Tata Steel is also retaining its 50% stake in Norsk Stal AS.

Last week it had announced that the other 50% of the company is being acquired from SSAB by Leif Hubert Stal AS which, like Norsk Stal, is a Norwegian steel distribution business.